Who doesn’t love a Calzone? You do not have to be Italian to appreciate the delicious stuffed oven baked bread. While traditionally they filling was similar to your favorite pizza toppings, today there are many variations available.
We thought it would be fun to take these Calzones into the Fall season and create some fun! These Calzones shaped like pumpkins are not only adorable, but they taste damn good.
Our Calzone version is stuffed with Italian sausage, highlighted with caramelized onion, baby spinach, and smoked gouda cheese! As if that isn’t enough flavor, we have paired it with a fantastic tomato-based red dipping sauce that is to die for. The combo is “shut up” good! This is a fun easy recipe for lunch, dinner or even an appetizer!
How To Make Calzones?
So, you know me, I traditionally always make every item from scratch. For these Calzones however, I was able to find pre-made pizza dough in my refrigerated section of my grocery store that was :
- No artificial flavors or colors
- No high fructose corn syrup
- No hydrogenated oil
- No bleached flour
- Made with Certified sustainable palm oil
It is called Jus-Rol Round & Thin Pizza Crust Dough. Sporting that type of criteria, you can just buy it and concentrate on making cute pumpkins!!
If you just feel better about making your own pizza dough, or you want to save money, then check out this New York TImes Pizza Dough Recipe
Making the Calzone Stuffing:
- Brown the sausage and pour off any leftover grease in the pan. Be sure that the piece of sausage are crumbled as evenly as possible. Set the sausage aside in a bowl.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Once warm, add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes and add it to the bowl.
- With the pan still warm, add the spinach and move the spinach around gently until it wilts completely. Remove the spinach and let it cool. Once it is cool, take the spinach and squeeze out all of the excess moisture. You can also roll the spinach between sheets of paper towel to help pull moisture. When you are satisfied that the moisture is removed, roughly chop the spinach and add it to the bowl.
- To the bowl that now has the sausage, onions, garlic and spinach you will toss in the smoked gouda and stir to combine. Set aside.
Making Calzone Pumpkins:
Unroll the pre-packaged pizza dough. Split the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten it out like a tiny pizza. You will put about 2 tablespoons of mixture in the center of the round, and start to fold up the edges so that the stuffing is enclosed and you have a ball.
Cut 4 equal pieces of strings per ball, about 4-5 inches long. Take on piece and have it running north and south. Another East West. The remaining strings should run from 2 to 7 on a clock and 10 to 4. Place the ball in the center and start to tie the strings to get the ball to look like the pumpkin. Trim the Ends.
Combine the egg and heavy cream and mixed until well combined. Brush the pumpkins with the eye mixture.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 16 minutes.
Let cool completely before you cut away the string. Use a little pretzel rod for the stem. Gently push in at the top and you now have a Calzone Pumpkin!
Calzone Pumpkin’s Dipping Sauce
Calzone’s can be served with a pizza sauce or a tomato based pasta sauce. The difference in the two is that traditionally pizza sauce is uncooked and is thicker with less water in the sauce.
I prefer to serve Calzones with a Easy Bolognese or a Super Easy Marinara sauce that has been cooked and seasoned to enhance the flavor. With meat or without meat in the sauce is a personal preference. I have served it both ways and it never disappoints.
The sauce is easy to put together and you can do this while the Calzones are baking.
Serving the Calzone Pumpkins With Dipping Sauce
Once the little pumpkin shaped Calzones are done baking, you want to get them plated to serve them warm. Put the sauce in a small container to serve next to the pumpkins to make sure that the bread stays firm. Enjoy!!
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